Rickie Fowler holds one-shot lead at Phoenix Open

Daniel Berger can get hot in the desert
Daniel Berger can get hot in the desert

05 February, 2018

"As much as I wanted to continue to play. the pain was just too much".

"It would just kind of be a long time coming, in a way", Fowler said.

Dechambeau signed for a round of 68 to join them in second, one shot ahead of five-time major champion - and former Arizona State player - Phil Mickelson, as well as Daniel Berger and Xander Schauffele.

Joining Rahm in a tie for second are Chez Reavie (67) and Bryson DeChambeau (68).

"To win tournaments out here is great, but to win one that you grew up going to would be very special", Reavie said.

Fowler cites the last six holes as the key here, what with so many birdie opportunities.

DeChambeau, seeking his second tour victory, was 14-under after three straight birdies at 13, 14, and 15, but he gave a stroke back at 17 where he was in the water off the tee. Connell was born with a rare airway disorder.

The 47-year-old Hall of Famer is making his record-tying 29th start in the event he won in 1996, 2005 and 2013.

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"I don't think it's a coincidence he's playing so well this week, either", said Griffin's father, Jim Connell. He birdied the final three holes of the day, including the iconic 16th hole, en route to earning a spot in the final group on Sunday.

"There's no question that I play better down the stretch with people here", Mickelson said.

Justin Thomas and first-round leader Bill Haas were 6 under. "I just wasn't getting the ball close enough and finally on the last few there I was able to get some good looks".

Rahm, seeking a fifth worldwide title in the past year and his second USA tour victory in three weeks, was two-under through nine and responded to a bogey at the 10th with birdies at 11, 13, 15 and 16. Once there, fans waited almost seven hours for the first group of golfers to make their way to No. 16.

The victor in each of the last two years, Hideki Matsuyama was forced to withdraw with a shoulder injury.

Former world No. 1 Lee Westwood, who shot a 62 on Friday, ended in a tie for 11th place following a final-round 70.

Robert Garrigus had the shot of the day, a drive on the 17th that hit the flagstick and stopped inches away. Andrew Magee aced the hole in 2001, the only hole-in-one on a par 4 in PGA Tour history.

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